The Royal Air Force will lose its entire fleet of C-130 Hercules aircraft by 2023.
The Defence Command Paper released today, titled ‘Defence in a Competitive Age‘, states:
“The Royal Air Force will retire the BAe146 as planned by 2022 and take the C130 Hercules out of service by 2023. The A400M Atlas force will increase its capacity and capability, operating alongside C 17 Globemaster and Voyager transport aircraft and tankers.”
The C-130J Hercules transport aircraft are often used by special forces.
The C-130J varients first entered service with the Royal Air Force in the late 1990s and some of the C-130s have been retired in recent years but the remaining 14 had originally been due to keep flying until the mid-2030s.
It is understood that, where possible, their missions will be picked up by the fleet of larger A400M Atlas transport aircraft.
This defence review was previously described by Boris Johnson as the largest review of its kind since the Cold War.